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Upcycled Welsh Dresser: Transforming Furniture with Paint and Wallpaper

CEO Khai Intela
I'm not the world's best painter or upcycler, but there's something magical about breathing new life into an old, forgotten piece of furniture. Picture this: You walk through a charity shop or browse a car...

a welsh dresser painted dark blue with a wallpaper background in the kitchen

I'm not the world's best painter or upcycler, but there's something magical about breathing new life into an old, forgotten piece of furniture. Picture this: You walk through a charity shop or browse a car boot sale, and hidden among moth-eaten clothes and ancient DVDs, you stumble upon a stunning mahogany Welsh dresser. It's the perfect addition to your kitchen, just waiting to be transformed.

How the dresser looked originally after I had rescued it from a charity shop

That's exactly what happened to me three years ago when I found this gorgeous dresser for £60. It was in great condition, with pristine wood grain and beautifully engraved drawers. The only problem? It had fallen out of fashion, so I decided to upcycle it and give it a new lease on life.

Our painted dresser in the kitchen. I liked how the Hague Blue wall provided a contrasting background for the dresser.

At first, I painted it grey and added a wallpaper background, matching the white and grey color scheme of our kitchen. But here's the thing about gray in a kitchen: it simply can't withstand the stains and grime that come with a bustling cooking space. I found myself constantly repainting it, and that's when Dulux came to the rescue.

The wallpaper background

When Dulux approached me for their Wood Trim campaign, I knew I had the perfect project. I wanted to indulge my love for dark blue and bring out the dresser's regal charm. Plus, it would complement the B&Q wallpaper that adorned its back.

Starting to look very grubby!

After testing a few sample pots, I settled on Dulux's Sapphire Salute, a deep, rich blue that beautifully tied the color scheme together. However, the dark blue called for a white wall backdrop, or else the dresser would blend into oblivion.

Sapphire Salute

With a fresh coat of white paint on the wall behind the dresser, the kitchen corner immediately felt brighter and more spacious. The transformation had begun.

First coat of Dulux Pure Brilliant White going on and already this space feels fresher.

Dulux's Pure Brilliant White worked like magic, further enhancing the space. Now, it was time to prepare the dresser for its new look.

What I Used for the Upcycled Dresser

  • A Welsh dresser
  • Paint (Dulux Sapphire Salute)
  • Paint brushes
  • Sugar soap
  • Sandpaper
  • A screwdriver
  • An old sheet or dust sheet
  • Wallpaper
  • Gorilla super glue
  • Tape measure
  • A sharp pair of scissors
  • Patience and vision

Plan Your Upcycle

Before diving into the project, it's crucial to consider where the dresser will be placed and the color scheme of that room. Since my dresser was in the kitchen, I opted for dark blue. Originally, I planned to pair it with geometric wallpaper, but fate had other ideas.

Beautiful GoodHome Ferula wallpaper

After a poll on my Instagram, the majority selected the GoodHome Ferula Blue tropical leaves wallpaper. The blue botanical design perfectly suited the room, with hints of mustard and gold adding a touch of elegance.

It’s All In the Prep

As I had previously upcycled the dresser, prep work was minimal. I removed the hinges and door knobs, sanded it down for a smooth finish, and cleaned it with sugar soap to remove grease and dirt. If you prefer, you can use a primer for a cleaner finish, but I chose not to.

Using very fine sandpaper to leave a smooth finish on the dresser.

Painting the Welsh Dresser

To achieve a neat finish, you can use frog tape to divide sections. However, I prefer using a small paintbrush to paint carefully along the borders. I started by applying Dulux Sapphire Salute to the larger areas, then used a fine paintbrush for the handles and hinges.

The first coat going on the drawers.

Two coats of Sapphire Salute were sufficient, thanks to the quick-drying water-based paint. The transformation was in full swing.

The Wallpaper Part

Once the paint had dried completely, it was time to tackle the wallpaper. I removed the old wallpaper, measured out the new one, and carefully applied Gorilla super glue to its back. Starting from the top left corner, I stuck the wallpaper in place, section by section, ensuring the pattern matched seamlessly.

Once the wallpaper was measured out and cut to size, I used Gorilla super glue to stick it to the back of the Welsh dresser.

The Details

With the painted and wallpapered Welsh dresser, I was thrilled with how sleek and regal it looked. However, the worktop still needed some attention, as did the handles and hinges. I used old rustoleum paint to freshen up the worktop and gold paint to give the fixtures a touch of elegance.

Painting the hinges with gold paint

They look utterly fabulous with the golds and mustards of the wallpaper

Ta-dah! The upcycled dresser was complete—a stunning fusion of paint and wallpaper.

an upcycled welsh dresser with wallpaper and painted blue in the kitchen

Over the past 10 years of upcycling, I've gradually shifted my perspective. I no longer see old furniture as destined for the dump but as a canvas for creating unique pieces for my home.

an upcycled welsh dresser with wallpaper in the kitchen

It's a fulfilling and budget-friendly way to add character to your space. So, what do you think of my new upcycled Welsh dresser?

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